GOOFS IN CHRISTMAS
SHOWS AND SONGS

MOST CHRISTMAS SONGS, MOVIES, AND TV SHOWS
HAVE SERIOUS ERRORS IN THEM.

Hollywood turns out some nice Christmas shows, but most of them have glaring errors in them. These errors include errors in timekeeping, anachronisms, misplaced items, and errors in logic. You would think that they would try to get the facts, instead of spouting nonsense. But these screenwriters seem to have never heard of the six months of darkness at the North Pole, astronomy, how time zones work, or the chronology of when things were invented.

Note that no errors are presented here that pertain to the supposed abilities of the characters in the stories or the normally accepted parts of the story. None of them refer to such things as reindeer that can fly, Santa being able to make all of those deliveries in one night, enough room in the sleigh for all of those gifts, elves exist, etc.

Here is a list of the worst errors:

Errors in Timekeeping or Astronomy:

  1. 24-hour cycles of daylight and darkness are seen at the North Pole.

    There are never any 24 hour light and dark cycles at either pole. At the North Pole, the sun rises on the Vernal Equinox, and is up for 6 months. When the sun is up, it circles the horizon once each 24 hour day (shadows move clockwise at the North Pole). It sets on the Autumnal Equinox, and is down for 6 months. The sun is up at the South Pole at the times when it is down at the North Pole.

    The moon does provide some light during the times the sun is down, when it is full or nearly full, circling the horizon the same way the sun does. It rises about once a month, and sets about half a month later.

    It is dark all of the time in December at the North Pole. But almost all of the Santa Claus films show daily light and dark cycles at the North Pole. Oops!

  2. The sun is shown high in the sky at the North Pole.

    The sun can never rise higher than 23.5 degrees above the horizon at the North Pole. That occurs around June 21. The sun is high in the sky in some films because the footage was shot in California.

    This is seen in The Night They Saved Christmas.

  3. The North Star (Polaris) is seen out a window in Santa's home at the North Pole.

    The North Star should always be directly overhead at the North Pole. It could not be seen out of a window on the side of the house.

    This is seen in Mrs Santa Claus.

  4. Santa is shown being somewhere in America on December 24 during the day and into the evening hours.

    Santa must deliver his first gifts at midnight on Christmas Island (Kiritimati, in the nation of Kiribati). At this time, it is 5 am on December 24, New York time. There are now 27 standard time zones in the world. Santa's trip must continue for 26-27 hours, ending up at a few small islands in the Pacific Ocean. Here is a time chart:

    SANTA'S SCHEDULE WHERE SANTA IS NOW
    1.
    Santa in
    Kiritimati
    210° E
     
     
    2.
    Santa in
    London
     
     
    3.
    Santa in
    New York
    75° W
     
     
    4.
    Santa in
    Baker Island
    180° W
    GET THE TIME IN:
    T Z
    I O
    M N
    E E
    Kiritimati Time 12/25 12 m   12/25 2 pm   12/25 7 pm   12/26 2 am
    London Time (UTC) 12/24 10 am   12/25 12 m   12/25 5 am   12/25 12 n
    New York NY Time 12/24 5 am   12/24 7 pm   12/25 12 m   12/25 7 am
    Baker Island Time 12/23 10 pm   12/24 12 n   12/24 5 pm   12/25 12 m
    ELAPSED TIME: 0 hr 14 hr 19 hr 26 hr
    Total ° Longitude covered: 210° 285° 390°
    Assumptions above are:
    - Santa's deliveries occur between 11:30 pm and 12:30 am in any given time zone.
    - The indicated place is delivered at midnight.

    If Santa is still somewhere in the US at 8 pm EST, he has already missed 15 hours of delivery time. Nine time zones have children already awake, finding themselves without any presents from Santa. He needed to start at 5 am on December 24, New York time.

    Note that for 2 hours every day, three dates exist on the earth at the same time. When it is 11 am in London on Dec 24, it is 1 am on Dec 25 on Kiritimati, and 11 pm on Dec 23 on Baker Island.

    In Mrs Santa Claus, instead of Santa being in New York, the sleigh is there.

  5. Santa is said to have only 12 hours to deliver, and is shown going around the world in the wrong direction.

    One animated movie (The Story of Santa Claus) makes both of these mistakes.

    Whoever wrote the script for this assumed that it is night everywhere on the earth at the same time.

Global Complications:

  1. Climate Zones

    The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the Arctic and Antarctic Circles divide the world into 5 climate zones.

    ZoneSunSeasonWeather on 12/25Advanced Summer Time
    North FrigidAlways downWinterVery ColdNot in December
    North TemperateDaily cyclesWinterColdNot in December
    TorridDaily cyclesEquatorialVery HotUnnecessary
    South TemperateDaily CyclesSummerHotSome countries
    South FrigidAlways upSummerVery ColdNo countries

    When travelling from one climate zone to another, Santa might have to change how much clothing he has on as the temperature changes. He might reduce the number of clothing changes by alternately flying north and then south in successive time zone trips.

  2. Odd Time Zones

    Several countries have odd time zones that deviate from standard time zones by half an hour or 15 minutes.

    There are no countries left that are not using a fixed offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

    Where such odd time zones exist, Santa has to make extra trips between the standard time zones.

    When there were countries that used daily solar time, Santa had to work those places into his route with extra side trips.

  3. Advanced Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time)

    Many countries advance their clocks one hour during summer months. Other countries do not. But only 5 countries in the southern Hemisphere do so. Northern Hemisphere countries do not observe advanced summer time in December.

    Santa has to deviate into countries with active advanced summer time on the trip an hour earlier than the normal trip for the time zone.

  4. Multiple Calendars

    Different countries and religions use different calendars. This changes the date of Christmas.

    The dates of Christmas are set as follows:

    CalendarLocal dateGregorian date
    GregorianDec 25Dec 25
    Eastern OrthodoxDec 25Jan 7

    In countries that use other calendars, churches use the Gregorian or Eastern Orthodox calendars as their parent church organizations direct.

  5. Multiple Religions

    The date Santa Claus (or equivalent) visits varies with local culture:

    Day Santa ComesLocal dateGregorian date
    Gregorian ChristmasDec 25Dec 25
    Gregorian EpiphanyJan 6 (next)Jan 6 (next)
    Eastern Orthodox ChristmasDec 25Jan 7 (next)
    Gregorian Christmas EveDec 24Dec 24
    Gregorian St Stephen's DayDec 26Dec 26
    Gregorian Boxing DayDec 26Dec 26
    St Nicholas DayDec 6Dec 6

    So Santa makes visits on several dates of the year.

    If you think this is convoluted, consider the schedule of the Easter Bunny (multiple ways to calculate the date of Easter).

  6. Multiple Costumes

    Since Santa is not seen during delivery, he does not need to change costumes.

Anachronisms and Misplaced Items:

  1. Children playing with toys that have not yet been invented at the time portrayed.

    In the cartoon show Santa Claus is Coming to Town, children in medieval times are playing with toy school buses, cars, trucks, choo-choos, and airplanes. None of these had been invented at the time portrayed.

  2. Use of the metric system before it was invented.

    The cartoon show Santa Claus is Coming to Town also portrays people using metric system measures before the metric system was finalized in 1799.

  3. TV Antennas on the roofs in the 19th century.

    A British production of A Christmas Carol, filmed on location in London in the 1950s, shows TV antennas on almost every roof. Television had not been invented until the early 20th century, and did not come into practical use until after World War II. (Note that, because television was relatively new, nobody making the film thought about the antennas being visible.)

  4. Penguins are found at the North Pole or in Europe.

    Several cartoons, including Santa Claus is Coming to Town, show penguins in Europe, or at the North Pole.

    Gerbils are also portrayed as being at the North Pole in the same movie.

    Most people living at the time portrayed knew nothing of what a penguin was, so they would not call it a penguin.

    Kris Kringle wouldn't have known that the penguin was far from its habitat, because few Europeans had ever seen a penguin at that time.

  5. A map, supposedly of the area where Santa's castle is, shows an area nowhere near the North Pole.

    The map in The Night They Saved Christmas has parallels and meridians that show an area located at about 60° north latitude.

  6. Land is shown at the North Pole.

    Many Christmas movies, including The Night They Saved Christmas have Santa's castle built on solid land. But there is no land at the North Pole - just icecap ice floating on the Arctic Ocean. The water is deep enough that submarines routinely cross the pole under the icecap

  7. A cartoon short shows a sundial with seasons marked on it, mounted on a pedestal in Santa's yard.

    The seasons were marked as though the sun crossed the sky only once in the six months it is up at the North Pole. In reality, the sun circles the sky once each 24 hour day while it is up.

Errors in Logic:

  1. Christmas needs to be "saved."

    In too many of these movies and shows, some terrible event threatens to "ruin Christmas." Usually it is something that prevents Santa Claus from delivering toys to the children of the world. But since Christmas is really about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, it never needs to be saved from anything other than repressive governments.

  2. A lot of time was wasted because the wrong transportation methods were used.

    In The Night They Saved Christmas, Santa wasted a lot of time by using some slow transportation methods he had, when he could have used the faster ones he used later in the film.

  3. Illogical courses of action are taken during a rescue.

    In Santa Claus (the movie), Santa wasted time with the "Super Duper Looper" when seconds counted. Why didn't he just position the sleigh nearly under the Patchmobile, and catch Patch and Joe as they fell? But then, there would have been no need for the fancy special effects. (Question: Can a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer really do a loop?)

    In The Night They Saved Christmas, Santa wasted a lot of time by using slow transportation methods for a rescue (see above).

  4. "If Santa Claus doesn't get a replacement, the polar ice cap will melt."

    Huh????

    Seen in The Santa Clause.

Errors in Religion:

  1. Use of non-Christian deities

    The three fates, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos are the Fates of Greek mythology who control the Threads of Fate. Their Roman names (in the same order) are Nona, Decima, and Morta. So why are they referred to in Have yourself a Merry little Christmas? It turns out the record producer objected to the word "Lord" in the original lyrics.

    Weather gods Heat Miser, Snow Miser, and Mother Earth in The Year without a Santa Claus???

    All kinds of deities in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

    Magic in a silk hat? Where does the magic that makes Frosty the Snowman live come from?

    Other extraneous deities include Suzy Snowflake, Mixie Pixie, and Jack Frost.

  2. Who are these people?

    A "mighty king" is mentioned in the song Do you Hear what I Hear?. But who is this king? There is no such person in the Bible or mentioned in history.

    A "drummer boy" is mentioned in the song The Little Drummer Boy. But there is no such person in the Bible or mentioned in history.

  3. The Bible doesn't say that.

    The song Mary, Did you Know? asks if Mary knew who Jesus was when he was born. But Luke 1:26-38 says that the angel Gabriel told Mary who her son was to be.

  4. The Bible doesn't say when Jesus was born.

    The Bible does not give a date of the nativity. So we do not know that it was in winter, let alone in December. Also, Israel is in a Mediterranean climate, not a temperate climate like most of Europe and the US, so it might not be cold even in winter. And we know the birth is at night, but the time of birth is not given. So the assumptions below do not follow:

Inconsistencies:

  1. Santa's Wife's name is....???

    The following have appeared, along with others:

  2. No agreement about the origin of Santa Claus:

    Various conflicting stories about how Santa came to be. Some say he was a toymaker who was taken in or raised by elves, some say he was taken to the North Pole by natural forces, where he joined up with toymaker elves, and some come up with yet other origins.

  3. Some stories say Santa is immortal (e.g. Santa Claus the Movie). Others say he is occasionally replaced (e.g. The Santa Clause).

    Various conflicting stories about how Santa can exist for centuries. Some say he has been immortal from the beginning, while others say that either Santa's son succeeds him, or that a new Santa must be found every so often.

Conclusion:

These movies would make a lot more sense (assuming the subject matter can deliver any) if they were written with what we know about the earth, time zones, astronomy, and other facts taken into account. It would also be nice if the stories actually agreed with each other. But the writers, artisans, directors, and cartoonists won't bother to look up the real facts. Instead, they write fantasies that are full of more fancy than fact. Maybe the fact that the earth is round, or that it is night on half of the earth at any one time, has never soaked into their brains. Their thoughts are flat-earth thoughts - about as real as the political beliefs they tend to support.


CHRISTMAS SONGS ARE HARD TO SING ALONG TO
WHEN THE WORDS AND MUSIC ARE CHANGED.

Contemporary musicians have turned out some nice Christmas songs, but most of them have glaring errors in them. These errors do not include the supposed abilities of the characters in the stories or the normally accepted parts of the stories. None of them refer to such things as reindeer that can fly, Santa being able to make all of those deliveries in one night, enough room in the sleigh for all of those gifts, the existence of elves, etc.

These errors include changes made in the tune and lyrics of the songs. They were done for pecuniary reasons, not artistic ones.

Here is a list of the worst errors:

Errors in the Tune Recorded:

  1. Artists changing parts of the tunes of old Christmas songs

    They are doing this partly for their own aggrandization, but mostly because their record company wants a new copyrightable product it can extract more money from.

    In a few cases, the changes are because the singer can't hit certain notes.

  2. Artists writing entirely new tunes to use with old lyrics

    They are also doing this partly for their own aggrandization, but mostly because their record company wants something it can garner copyright royalties from.

In all of these cases, people who are familiar with the old versions have trouble singing along with the new versions.

Errors in the lyrics recorded:

  1. Changing the lyrics of old Christmas carols

    Changing lyrics just enough that the new version can be copyrighted. This means royalties for the artist and the record label that would otherwise not be collected, as the original lyrics are in the public domain.

    Writing entirely new verses for old Christmas songs, again to collect copyright royalties.

    In some cases, the lyrics are changed to "update the language" in them. But they are also getting a new copyright for the changes. Examples:

  2. Leaving out verses of old favorite Christmas hymns

    Often lyrics are left out of old songs to get the recording within the time constraints broadcasters impose for airplay (to get in the wanted number of commercials).

    Sometimes lyrics are omitted to make extra time for artistic interludes added to make the resulting song copyrightable.

    Often lyrics are left out because the producer does not agree with the message of the Cross.

    The most butchered Christmas carol is O Holy Night. The page author has NEVER found a recording with all three of the verses intact. The following have been done to the song in various recordings:

    I want to hear the song as it appears in the hymnals to sing along with it.

Again, in all of these cases, people who are familiar with the old versions have trouble singing along with the new versions.

Errors in the Tune and lyrics Recorded:

  1. Artists changing parts of the tunes and lyrics of old Christmas songs

    They are doing this partly for their own aggrandization, but mostly because their record company wants a new copyrightable product it can extract more money from.

    In a few cases, the changes are because the singer can't hit certain notes.

Again, in these cases, people who are familiar with the old versions have trouble singing along with the new versions.

Which is more important - Christ's birth, or copyright royalties?

Were these songs written for God, or were they written so someone can make money?


CLASSIFICATION OF CHRISTMAS SONGS:

There are several kinds of songs included in movies and albums released for Christmas.

  1. Songs, carols, and hymns about the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (e.g.: O Holy Night, Silent Night)
  2. Songs about Santa Claus and friends (e.g.: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman)
  3. Songs about celebrating Christmas (e.g.: Merry Christmas Polka, Good King Wenceslas)
  4. Songs about New Year's Day that somehow got into the Christmas bin (e.g.: Deck the Halls, Auld Lang Syne)
  5. Songs about winter and snow that somehow got into the Christmas bin (e.g.: Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland)
  6. Comedies and parodies about Christmastime (e.g.: Yingle Bells, Christmas at Ground Zero)

Jingle Bells was originally written for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Over the River and Through the Woods was originally written for the Christmas holiday.


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